Aquaponics Indoor Growing System

In April, students wrapped up the semester with senior project presentations.

Project Aqua-Life included six members; Team Leader Jeff Bateman, Matt Clark, J.D. Hatch, Jose Echeverria, Gary Squire and Heath Pritchett.

The purpose of the project was to combine the concepts of hydroponics and aquaculture into one, food-production system, called aquaponics.

The project was commissioned and funded by a Japanese company called Horimasa International. The company requested a prototype system, which would integrate the technology of aquaponics into a design that would appeal to consumers.

The team was given two semesters to design and complete the project. The first semester was spent designing the system, and the second semester spent building it.

After senior presentations, the group traveled to University of Hawaii Manoa to unveil the final prototype to Horimasa.

What is unique about this project is the aesthetic appeal of the system, an element important to Horimasa.
“It could potentially be used inside your home, or an office area,” said J.D. Hatch.

Combining functionality with aesthetics proved a challenge for the team, as no aesthetic aquaponic designs were available.
The aquaponic system uses the waste of fish to fertilize plants. Clean, fresh water is, in turn, cycled back to the fish.

The tank, which holds 57 gallons of water, features a bubble wall, allowing full visibility into the design. LED lights create accent lighting, which can be controlled using a touch screen on the front of the tank.

Prior to the unveiling in Hawaii, the project was presented at Day at the Capitol in Salt Lake City, and the WSU Freshman Scholarship and Honors banquets.

“It’s been excellent,” J.D. Hatch said, “I couldn’t have asked for a better project…I’m grateful that I was able to be a part of this group.”

Faculty advisors were Professor George Comber and Assistant Professor Megumi Leatherbury.

All six team members graduated this year.

Written by Elaine Cope